How to start, grow, and moderate a subreddit
by Samuel Cuthbert
I've been thinking about getting real in 2016. The new year is less than a month away and resolutions come to mind. Did I do a good job in my first year as a dad? Check. Kept my word to myself for another year. Staying at home with him has been an incredible experience, and he is a constant source of creativity. Just living in his world each day really helps me be creative. Writing, photography, thinking of new ideas for future posts, marketing the blog in a cool way - even the dreaded editing becomes bearable when I'm motivated. He's had a good time, eating loads of fruit and veg in the first year basically. DWMS. Diapers, Wipes, Milk, Smoothies. Seriously, if you're a new dad, that's all you need to add to your life to take care of 90% of your day. Do not skimp on the stroller. You'll use that thing every damn day and I pity those dads putting up with noisy, hard little wheels while my thing rolls past like a god damn McLaren.
Anyway, in the spirit of setting a good example for my son, I'm not going to make lazy posts and hope they find traffic. I'm trying to be as genuine as I can, and only share things I can speak credibly on. There's enough "fake it till you make it" people behind blogs out there. I'm taking a different approach and just providing maximum value to people so that they will find and share my work here on the blog.
One thing that I know, is what it's like to start a Subreddit from scratch, and shape it into something that adds value to Reddit users. I can also explain how to moderate and grow a new sub into an authentic and cool community. /r/TheWholeCar solves a problem for 14,000+ subscribers, has a search that works, and no shit posts.
There's a long backstory here if you're interested, but essentially my sub was born out of a problem. I was able to set guidelines (because I started the sub) that restricts what can be posted there, to eventually end up with a solution that was clear and useful to car fans on Reddit. /r/Cars had stopped accepting direct image posts (in order to foster more discussion) and /r/Carporn only allowed single image posts. I only wanted to browse quality car photos, and when I found a model I liked, I naturally wanted to see the whole car. I figured there must be others, so I made my own sub, and because it solved a small (but real) problem, people liked it and word spread. I'll walk you through how to get set up, how to introduce the sub to people and find subscribers, and how to moderate the sub without it being a time-hog.